Another Delay in ELS Plan for Mass. Park
Amesbury, Mass., officials did not have a chance to voice their opinions on the Tuxbury Campground expansion on Monday (April 6). Plans were once again side-tracked because of an incomplete application.
Representatives of Tuxbury Campground did not submit necessary septic plans until the meeting last night, prompting South Hampton's (N.H.) planning board to unanimously reject the application until a septic plan is submitted within 15 days of the next scheduled meeting on May 6, according to The Daily News of Newburyport (Mass.).
The plans, which were released to the town's planning board last month, include 211 new sites and 13 already approved sites alongside the Powow River and Tuxbury Pond, a flood plain created by an Amesbury-controlled dam. They also include proposed sewer upgrades at the site.
Currently the campground, owned by Equity Lifestyle Properties based in Chicago, has 274 lots situated on 78 acres of land in South Hampton and three-quarters of an acre in Amesbury.
Mayor Thatcher Kezer sat down with Amesbury administrators, including Community and Economic Development Director Joe Fahey and Building Inspector Denis Nadeau, to discuss the proposed expansion. Nadeau attended Monday's meeting.
While the mayor said a proposed a septic upgrade could help limit contamination, he said the town still does have concerns with the plans.
"There are a number of issues that we need to get information on and look into," Kezer said. "There are traffic issues, storm water drainage and public safety issues."
In upcoming weeks, the mayor said additional studies would need to be in place before the town was satisfied with all aspects of the proposal.
"We plan to work with the folks in South Hampton. Ultimately, it's their decision. We are confident that they will make the right decision," Kezer said.
Speaking on behalf of the expansion at the meeting were owner of Tuxbury Campground Jason Russo, Tuxbury Campground manager Shannon Ayres, project engineer Dennis Quintal and Mike Nichols, a representative for Equity Lifestyle Properties, the company that owns the property.
Equity Lifestyle Properties has been a public company since 1993 and owns 312 campground properties across the United States and Canada. The company has more than 110,000 sites, 70,000 of which are designed for RV and tenting purposes.
"We are doing this with the town in mind and want everyone to agree and be OK with this proposal," Quintal said.
More than 25 Amesbury and South Hampton residents attended the meeting. Because the plan could not be formally presented, public comment on the topic was not accepted. In the past, residents have expressed concerns with safety and policing in the summer, noise and an increase in traffic.